By BRIDGET CARTER
The suppression order covering the name of a woman facing a murder charge after a car hit teenagers at a party has lapsed.
Julie Johnson, 19, has been charged in the Whangarei District Court with the murder of Renee Brown, 16.
The Whangarei Girls High School student was killed and 12 others were injured as a car ploughed into a group of teenagers at a birthday party in Kamo on Sunday morning.
Johnson, who has a preschool-aged daughter, also faces 26 charges of injuring with intent to injure, causing grievous bodily harm and failing to stop after an accident.
She is in custody awaiting her next court appearance on Monday.
Johnson had been given temporary name suppression until yesterday so her family members could be contacted.
Yesterday, Leanne Johnson, a distant relative of the accused and one of the parents who helped to organise the party, said she felt angry that one incident had ruined what was a good night, and said she was reluctant to organise another big party.
People were drinking, dancing and having fun before 1am, when the car hit the teenagers, struck a powerpole and ploughed through several fences before ending up in a ditch.
"Nobody was out of control except for this thing that has happened," she said. "It was a night that should have been a happy event."
The party was for three youths who recently turned 18: Riley Dunn, Jason Rhodes and her son, Brett Johnson.
Mrs Johnson said that in time she would speak to Renee's parents.
Her own family were still in shock. "My boy and all of us have all different emotions at the moment and we just want the law to see it right."
Mrs Johnson's younger son, Riki, aged 15, was among those hurt. He was released from hospital yesterday after suffering injuries to his head, knee and elbow. It is not known when he can return to school.
Police, who were yesterday still interviewing witnesses, have said that drunk party-goers hindered emergency services and fights had occurred at the gathering early on.
But Mrs Johnson said the teens "were all well-behaved and it was just like any normal party".